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Thanksgiving in Summer

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With the summer sizzle here in Chicago, I’m cooling off with white wines. And as an avid griller, the wine is a perfect antidote to the heat of the Weber if not the thick humid air of July.

My summer wine pairing find is turkey with wine. Trader Joe’s surprised me with a bone-in turkey breast that I thought would make a lighter and more unique grilling option beyond the usual burger and chicken fare. I searched the cellar for a Chardonnay, which I thought would be a luxurious match for this bird prepared this way (Riesling, a lighter and sweeter wine is the usual white match when roasted in the oven). I found Wollersheim Winery’s Chardonnay tucked back behind my usual stash of summer sparkling wines. It was rich and delicious with perfectly balanced crispness to break the summer heat and buttery to match the turkey which was dressed in butter and sage (just like Thanksgiving). Researching this wine, it’s from our neighboring state of Wisconsin, surprisingly enough. Using grapes grown in Washington State, they make thiks wine in traditional manner, aged in French Oak in true Burgundian fashion, in nearby Prairie du Sac.

And while I'm always thankful for summer, I'm even more thankful for a new wine find to go with it. So go fire up the grill and pick it up at Binny's. (They'll order it if don't have it.) And maybe even take a drive up north one of these sultry summer nights to enjoy a truly and surprisingly good wine find from a land known more for yeast and hops than grapes and vines.

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